What We Offer

CDP offers legal, research and capacity building support designed to strengthen the organizing efforts of grassroots, community-based organizations. The services that we offer fall into three broad categories:

Community Lawyering
CDP’s attorneys work with community groups to:

  • Bring lawsuits against targets of organizing campaigns such as negligent landlords and wage-stealing employers
  • Defend community organizations and low-income community members when they are the targets of lawsuits
  • Provide legal services to individual community members to enhance organizations’ base building efforts
  • Provide expert legal advice and counsel to community organizations on issues such as incorporation and tax exemption, land use issues, forming worker-owned cooperatives, and negotiating community benefits agreements with developers.
  • Support community organizations’ legislative advocacy efforts.

The main issue areas of our legal work are affordable housing, workers’ rights, consumer justice, immigration, and defending the right to organize.
Read more about our legal assistance in housing, worker and consumer justice.

Participatory Action Research and Policy
Our Research and Policy Initiative partners with community organizing groups to:

  • Collect and analyze data to support their campaign demands
  • Produce participatory action research reports to highlight problems identified by community organizations
  • Develop policy solutions to community problems
  • Train organizations to design and conduct their own research
  • Conduct background research and develop fact sheets to provide strategic data in support of organizing campaigns

Read more about our research and policy work.

Technical and Capacity-Building Assistance
We offer grassroots community groups training and assistance with issues related to their formation and operation as not-for-profit organizations, including:

  • Fundraising and development
  • Organizational development
  • Financial management for nonprofits

Read more about our capacity-building work.

To request assistance with any of the above, please call our Community Organization Hotline at 646-459-3017.  Please note that we only provide assistance to community organizations that meet our eligibility criteria.